Feeds

Apple wins patent on charging iThings THROUGH THIN AIR

New system charges devices and peripherals sans cables

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A patent newly granted to Apple points to a future in which Cupertinian kit will charge over the air, without the need for cables.

The company's US Patent 8,796,885 describes a near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR) system that would be able to wirelessly charge multiple nearby devices from a single base station (such as a desktop computer).

According to Apple's filing, the power supply for the devices would be roughly the size of a AAA battery and could easily be stored in peripheral devices or handsets (Apple uses a portable media player as one example).

The main unit would be small enough to fit inside a desktop computer case and could be used to charge more than one device, although the company noted that charging multiple devices at once could reduce the range and power supplied by the source.

Such a system could make it possible for Apple to offer all-in-one computers that only require one cable to be plugged in – namely, a power cable for the main unit itself. None of the other peripherals, such as keyboards and mice, would require cable connections, replaceable batteries, or separate chargers.

Illustration from Apple's wireless charging patent

Apple's scheme sees peripherals powered by small pods that can recharge using magnetic resonance

While it is always good to take patent filings with a grain of salt, as not all become products, this one seems more likely than others to result in a finished product from Cupertino. It was filed in April of 2012, giving Apple plenty of time to develop and test the technology ahead of a potential release.

And in fact, Apple has previously been rumored to be working on wireless power systems. One 2013 report even claimed that Apple's rumored (but as-yet unseen) iWatch wristslab will be charged using magnetic resonance from up to a meter away from the source.

Efficient wireless power systems have long been sought after in the consumer tech industry, and Apple is far from alone in developing the tech. That one-meter range is still a bit of a pipe dream, though. The very latest Qi charging standard from the Wireless Power Consortium has only been successfully demonstrated at distances of up to 45mm. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
Amazon hopes FIRE STICK will light up its video service
We do streaming video? It seems we do...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.